Nerf guns are the perfect way for grown-ups to run through the house like children.
It's always a blast to have battles with our kids (or our buddies), but there's no way we can bring AirSoft or BB guns into the house.
Water guns have to stay outdoors, and paintball guns can only be used on a course.
Finding the best nerf gun you can, of course!
By choosing the best Nerf gun, you have the excuse that you're "playing with the children". No one can say anything about that, as you're just being a good parent, right? Plus nerf guns include rapid fire and other crazy features that make them loads of fun.
If you're looking for the best Nerf gun, you've come the right place. We've done the research for you, looking through dozens of Nerf guns, reading thousands of reviews, and testing a few personally.
Our research has led us to the best nerf guns on the market for every type of Nerf war. But our goal is to bring you all the best for your arsenal, and you'll be very pleased with the Nerf blasters, rifles, pistols, and shotguns on our list below.
Can fit in any pocket, making a great back-up gun. It also has a surprisingly good range, is quick firing, features excellent accuracy, doesn't jam, and is super cheap.
Only holds three darts, and the darts left in the chamber don't always fire properly.
Performance: If you're looking for a back-up gun to have in case of full-on Nerf warfare, this cheap, compact pistol is just what you need. It's small enough to fit in the palm of your hand or in any pocket. Despite its small size, it's a very accurate gun and packs a punch. However, multiple users have complained that the darts HURT when they hit.
The 75-foot range is on par with larger Nerf guns, and the gun is durable and well-built. It makes a great secondary weapon if you need something easy to hide.
Features: The gun has three barrels, and it's designed to fire all three darts in quick succession. Reloading can take a few seconds, but not as long as reloading a barrel. However, some people have noticed that leaving darts in the chamber for too long before shooting causes the darts to flop out, rather than being fired across the room. So it's better to reload just before you shoot.
The cocking handle is easy for even small kids to pull back, and the gun is lightweight enough for young warriors. A great option for family Nerf warfare!
Price: At $5.75, this is a beautifully cheap Nerf gun. But don't think you're losing quality for the low price: this gun packs an unexpected punch!Learn more:Nerf A1690 N-Strike Elite Triad EX-3 Blaster »
For maximum accuracy, better range, and a faster rate of fire, the Rival range of guns is the way to go! This blaster shoots little foam balls instead of Nerf darts, and you’ll find it’s a whole new way to win your battles.
Cocking mechanism is too small to grip easily; and the balls may leave welts/blisters. Plus, the gun does not include an aiming feature.
Performance: If you want a new way to war, this is an excellent choice. The Rival range of Nerf guns shoots little yellow foam balls instead of Nerf darts, and you’ll find they’re surprisingly accurate—on par with the most accurate Nerf guns. The range is excellent, and the fact that the foam balls are heavier than your average darts means they have more stopping power. They’ll also fly farther before dropping, so you can fire at your target instead of lobbing darts into the air to drop on your enemies.
The blaster pistol feels solid and very well-built, with a comfortable handle. Sadly, the cocking mechanism built into the top of the blaster is too small to grip comfortably, and you’ll find yourself getting welts or blisters if you use it for too long.
Features: The blast comes with a 7-round magazine, though you can always upgrade to an extra-long 12-round magazine for an extra price. The trigger requires very little effort to pull, and you’ll love how the gun NEVER jams. There is a tactical rail that you can use to install a sight, though the cocking mechanism will interfere with that. Aiming is pretty tough with this blaster, but once you get used to it, you’ll find it’s one of the best for high-accuracy, long-range battling.
Price: The $36 price tag on this gun makes it affordable, and you’ll love how reliable, accurate, and high-powered it is. Compared to Nerf blaster guns at the same price, this foam ball-shooting gun is well worth the cost!Learn more:Rival Apollo XV-700 »
The AlphaHawk is one of Nerf’s Accustrike series of guns updated for maximum accuracy. The bolt-action gun will feel like a classic sniper rifle, and delivers sniper rifle-level accuracy. Don’t expect rapid rate of fire, but you’ll never miss a well-aimed shot!
Slow rate of fire and only features a five-dart capacity.
Performance: If you’re a camper/sniper type, this is the gun for you. With its bolt action and 5-dart cylinder, it will feel like a classic sniper rifle. It will also deliver accuracy that any marksman will be happy with. Your range isn’t quite as far as some of the older-model rifles, but within your range, you’ll find few guns hit the target (or the enemy) with as much accuracy.
Features: The rifle comes with a bolt action that makes it easy to cock the gun between shots. You’ll find the five-dart cylinder can only hold enough for a few well-placed shots, but reloading is a breeze. The blaster comes with an integrated sight that will help you to aim like a pro. The gun comes with 10 of the upgraded AccuStrike darts, but it can be used with the classic Nerf (and third party) darts as well.
Price: At under $20, this sniper rifle is a good long gun to own if you’re battling on a large-sized field of war. Though its rate of fire is slow, no one can complain about its accuracy!Learn more:Nerf N-Strike Elite AccuStrike Series AlphaHawk »
The Modulus range of Nerf guns comes with dozens of accessories you can use to modify your weapons, and this one includes more than 1,000 ways to use the gun. For modders that want total control over customization, this is your top pick.
Center blaster is not the most reliable, and the gun is prone to jamming.
Performance: If you want total control over the design, length, size, weight, and functionality of your Nerf gun, this is your top pick. It’s the best of the Modulus series of Nerf guns, which are specially designed to be modified (not only with accessories, but third-party mods). The gun is designed to be used both as a rifle and a blaster, with a long barrel that can be easily removed and attached to any blaster.
The gun comes with five different bullet-holding accessories, but there are many Modulus attachments and add-ons that will help you to change/adapt the functionality of this gun. There are dozens of upgrade kits you can purchase to make this gun the most customizable choice around.
Features: This gun comes with three ways to fire: a center blaster, a missile launcher, and a small blaster beneath. The gun can be broken down into two separate weapons, or it can be used for one multi-functional, highly effective weapon of mass Nerf destruction.
The kit comes with the Elite Dart Blaster, Mega Dart Blaster, Missile Launcher, 10 Elite darts, 4 Mega darts, and 1 missile. Your enemies will never know what hit them!
Price: The $36 price tag on this bad boy is reasonable, and you get a solid, reliable gun when you buy the stock version. But get ready to spend upwards of $200 to fully modify the gun with Nerf parts, or even more if you want to look at third-party mods.Learn more:Nerf Modulus Tri-Strike »
Excellent power and range; decent accuracy; looks cool and feels solid; comes with kickstand; Whistler darts scream as they fly; and good rifle sounds when loading and firing.
Misfires common; clip tends to jam.
Performance: For those who want a long-range Nerf gun, this is your best choice. It has a longer range (100 feet) than any other Nerf gun and a surprising amount of power. You don't even have to arc your shots within a 50-foot range. It's ideal for anyone who wants to camp out and snipe at their opponents.
The gun has a tendency to jam and misfire, especially when using the clip. However, if you manually load the gun (like a bolt action rifle), you avoid the problems. You'll get those straight, powerful shots with a much lower risk of misfiring.
Features: The gun comes with a kickstand, but it's just as useful without the stand. You'll get that solid click when you chamber a round, and the rifle has a pleasant kickback when you fire it. The extra weight of the gun makes it feel solid and durable in your hands. Plus, it looks awesome! And who doesn't love that?
Price: $70 is a high price to pay for a Nerf gun, especially one you can only use at long range (thanks to its slow loading action). However, for Nerf snipers, it's the weapon of choice.Learn more:Nerf N-Strike Mega Centurion »
Fires blasters and missiles; excellent range; stock includes extra storage space; inexpensive; fits standard clips and a built-in motor for maximum power.
Requires AA batteries to shoot; has a tendency to jam.
Performance: This is the Nerf gun you want for maximum power! The built-in motor shoots your darts at a wicked 50+ MPH. The motor shoots the darts on auto-fire, so it will empty the 10-dart clip in a matter of seconds. However, the accuracy of this gun is on par with the best Nerf blasters and rifles, and you get a whole lot of power. It's definitely the weapon you want in your hand when taking on an army of undersized combatants (your kids) or for a full-on office Nerf war.
Features: The accompanying banana clip may only hold 10 darts, but the gun is compatible with the majority of Nerf blaster clips. You can swap it out for a larger (20-30 dart) clip if you need more ammunition.
The gun has a motor that gives it more power, but it only works if there is juice in the AA batteries. And, you'll go through the batteries pretty quickly—totally worth it for the high velocity of the gun!
The stock has space to store an extra ammunition clip. It's easy to swap clips, so you get excellent ammo capacity with this bad boy.
Price: $35 is a high price to pay for a toy gun. However, when you think about the accuracy, the rapid rate of fire, the above-average power, and the high ammunition capacity, you'll realize that this gun is a good purchase.Learn more:Nerf N-Strike Elite Demolisher 2-in-1 Blaster »
Shoots up to five darts per second, making it the fastest-firing Nerf gun on the market. The 25-shot drum and battery-powered motodrive ensures that you get decent range and accuracy at an incredibly high rapid fire rate.
Motor is noisy, and the gun requires 4 D-sized batteries.
Performance: Thanks to its built-in battery-powered motor, this gun will make you the fastest hand on the Nerf battlefield. It spits out five Nerf darts per second, so it will empty out your Nerf dart drum in five or six seconds. You’ll find it’s beautifully easy to remove the drum, secure a new one in place, cock the gun, and get firing. Though loading the drums takes time, once they’re loaded, you’ll be in for some fast-paced action!
You can expect about 75 to 90 feet of maximum range, though it’s at its most accurate up to 50 feet. The gun looks and feels like a 1920s’ Tommy gun, and it’s your best pick if you want top speed firing.
Features: The gun comes with a thumbhole stock, a solid handgrip, and an accessory rail for you to add extra add-ons and mods to the gun. There is a slide catch built into the gun just behind the accessory rail, making it easy for you to clear up dart jams. Thankfully, the gun isn’t too prone to jamming!
In addition to the regular trigger, there’s a secondary trigger that will get the motor spinning for the maximum fire rate. Once the motor’s spinning at full speed (a sound which no one will miss), you can press the primary trigger to open fire and empty the drum in seconds.
Price: At $48, this is one of the pricier Nerf guns on our list, but so worth it if you’re planning on total annihilation of your foes. Just get ready to spend a small fortune on D-sized batteries!Learn more:NERF Elite Hyperfire »
Rapid fire and easy to load. Works with most Nerf darts and features a good range. Inexpensive, good-looking blaster, with a solid trigger and grip. And as an added bonus, the barrel flips out for quick loading.
Be prepared to reload after six shots.
Performance: If you're looking for a quick-fire Nerf gun for an all-out family war, this is exactly what you want. It's an inexpensive blaster that has surprisingly good range (90 feet) and accuracy, with enough power to actually sting if you shoot from close up. You can use most Nerf blasters (darts) with the gun—both newer and older-style—so you've got no end of ammunition to choose from.
What makes this gun so great is the fact that it's easy to reload. While it's a six-shooter, the barrel pops out for quick reloading. It's the blaster to give you an edge against your Nerf-carrying enemies!
Features: The Slam Fire slide cocks the gun once but gives you six rapid-fire shots. The flip-out barrel makes it wonderfully easy and quick to reload, and you can upgrade it using the Tactical Rail accessory for even more accuracy. It's a simple gun that gets the job done!
Price: At less than $10, this is the Nerf gun you'll want as your sidearm in an all-out war, but it offers the range and accuracy of a larger gun. Definitely the gun for a true Nerf warrior.Learn more:Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster »
Nerf guns, or “blasters”, are dart guns that shoot ammunition made from a special Nerf foam. Dating back to 1969, the weapons and foam ammunition are all brightly colored, due to the fact that they became highly popular in the 70s.
Nerf actually stands for "non-expanding recreational foam". The foam is made by combining polyester resin with a proprietary compound and CO2. The gas creates open pockets within the polyurethane that helps to make the material light and soft.
The vast majority of the “blasters” and weaponry sold today are made by Nerf. Nerf’s largest rivals include BoomCo (Mattel’s foray into the market) and Buzz Bee Toys. However, through its Nerf line, Hasbro effectively has the foam weaponry market cornered.
Who doesn’t love a good Nerf war? Whether you play using blasters only or you decide to add in more advanced weaponry—like crazy-fast firing automatic blasters, shotguns, or even “grenades”—Nerf wars are fun for the entire family!
Most Nerf wars tend to be informal, and they take place at home, in the office, or in the backyard. However, some people tend to organize them, using larger venues like gyms, schools, forests, public parks, and so on. Any large room can be turned into a Nerf battleground—all it takes is some overturned furniture, a collection of blasters, and a steady supply of ammunition.
While the average Nerf war is an impromptu thing—no rules, free-for-all, and it only stops once the ammo runs out—there are organized wars that are established by the Nerf Internet Community (NIC). The NIC is made up of bloggers and forum users of sites dedicated to Nerf in all its fun. It holds wars on both the West and East Coast every year, and some communities organize monthly or bi-annual wars in their local area. They have even begun to create a set of rules, regulations, and Nerf war games that are becoming “standardized”—thus giving Nerf wars the same coherence and structure that has made games like paintball or laser tag so enjoyable.
Nerf enthusiasts alike will tell you, “No, Nerf guns can’t possibly be dangerous! After all, they’re made from soft foam and tipped with suction cups. How could that hurt anyone?”
However, the truth is that there are some inherent dangers to using Nerf guns. Like any projectile weapon, they can be very dangerous for your eyes. Some doctors warn that Nerf darts can actually do damage to the eyes. One British doctor spoke of three cases where patients came into his hospital with “serious eye injuries” as a result of Nerf guns. The doctor even went so far as to question whether protective eyewear might be needed to prevent eye injuries.
In recent years, a wide range of YouTube instructional videos have surfaced giving instructions on how to modify the Nerf guns. These modifications, or “mods”, may actually circumvent safety features designed to protect users, thereby making the darts fly faster and thus increasing the risk of injury.
Off-brand darts can also lead to a higher risk of injuries. While Nerf tends to make its darts with soft tips or suction cups, third-party dart makers typically seek to make projectiles that shoot faster, fly farther, and hit harder. Using these darts can increase injury risk.
However, aside from this risk of injury to the eyes, there are very few other causes for concern with Nerf foam darts. The concerns boil down to two things:
The former is a very serious concern for households with infants—after all, babies and toddlers love to put bright-colored things into their mouths. The solution: if you have very small children, keep the Nerf wars outside the house and well away from them.
The latter is highly rare; people with latex allergies may experience negative symptoms when they come in contact with the foam in Nerf darts. However, there are too few cases for it to be a serious concern.
If you want to enjoy all the fun of Nerf wars without any of the risks, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
Never look down the barrel. This is basic Nerf blaster safety! Even if you are fairly certain the blaster isn’t loaded, it’s better never to look down the barrel and risk accidental discharge that could injure your eyes.
Stick with Nerf darts. Avoid buying off-brand darts if you want to keep your Nerf battles or wars safe for all parties involved. The fact that they fly faster and hit harder may mean they’re going to raise injury risk should anyone get hit in the eye.
Aim for the body. Just as in paintball, it’s better to avoid aiming for the head just to ensure everyone playing is safe. If you aim for the body, there’s a far lower risk you’ll hit someone in the eye.
Consider wearing safety glasses. If you’re going to be using the higher-powered blasters, rifles, machine guns, and shotguns, it may be a good idea to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
Only shoot at people playing the game. Don’t shoot bystanders, innocent passersby, or people not playing the game. You may find yourself having to explain your actions to the police if someone calls the cops on you.
Only play in safe areas. Make sure that your Nerf wars take place indoors or in outdoor locations that are safe. Don’t play near cliffs, ravines, bodies of water, waterfalls, roads, or highways. When playing indoors, be aware of staircases and other potentially dangerous locations.
Be safe, and your Nerf wars will be a whole lot of fun without any risk of injury or accident!
The Nerf N-Strike Vulcan EBF-25 Blaster holds the title of the most powerful Nerf gun ever. With its built-in pneumatic pump (powered by six D-batteries), it comes with an automatic feeder belt with 25 darts that can be fired in the space of just 10 seconds. Its range is adequate at best (35-40 feet), but with its rapid fire and massive power, it’s definitely a gun you want to wield in battle.
The title of fastest-firing Nerf gun is shared by two different weapons:
Nerf Hyperfire can empty its 25-round drum magazine in just over 5 seconds (5:15, according to one test). The flywheel has to be spun (using a secondary trigger) before you start firing, but once it’s spinning, you can fire all 25 darts off in just a matter of seconds.
Nerf MAG-STRIKE AS-10 is fully automatic and can empty its entire 10-dart clip in just over a second. That gives it a firing rate of around 600 rounds per minute, making it the fastest-firing Nerf blaster. However, given its small clip, it runs out of ammo instantly.
Nerf has made a number of big Nerf guns—from the Mega Mastodon to the Doomlands—but the biggest Nerf gun in the world was actually made by a guy named Mark Rober.
(Note: This isn’t a Hasbro-licensed gun, simply a Nerf dart-firing gun designed to look like one of the most popular Nerf gun models.)
Mark Rober made the world’s largest functional Nerf gun using wood for the gun stock, PVC for the barrels, and a 3000 psi paintball tank that uses compressed air to fire the massive darts—which are made by securing toilet plungers to the end of pool noodles. The gun fires at around 40 MPH and has a range of close to 130 yards.
See it here: https://youtu.be/57MKxz4pJKE
Modifying, or “modding” Nerf guns has become hugely popular among the Nerf Internet Community in the last few years. Modding Nerf guns can do everything from increasing firing speed to enhancing range to boosting firepower. Then, of course, many users like to paint their Nerf guns to make them look more “real”—covering up those bright oranges, yellows, and blues with black, silver, bronze, or camo paint.
Here are a few of the more popular mods you can research to upgrade your weapons for your next Nerf war:
Enhanced Ammo – Adding weights to your foam darts can help them fly faster and hit more accurately, not to mention deliver a more noticeable punch to your enemies. The safest mod is to add BBs into the hollow shafts of the darts. Less safe is the addition of a glob of hot glue on the tip of the dart. In the former case, the mod is mostly safe, as long as the BBs remain in the shaft. However, in the latter’s case, the dried hot glue can actually leave marks or scratches on your targets.
Stronger Spring – For the spring-fired guns, adding a stronger spring can do wonders to increase the effective range of fire. Adding in a 20-pound spring (or a few of them!) will give you a much better range, though you’ll likely need to reinforce the gun using PVC pipe, as the added kick on the spring-loaded firing mechanisms could damage the gun. This is the simplest mod for any blaster!
Barrel Mods – The cheap plastic barrels used in Nerf guns aren’t great at holding in air, and they tend to break fairly quickly once you start upgrading or modding the gun. Swapping the plastic barrel out for another one—say a brass, PVC, or copper barrel—will do wonders to upgrade your gun. Not only will it be more durable, but it will be a better fit for the darts. The tighter the fit, the more the air will build up behind the dart, generating more force to push it farther and send it flying faster.
Removing Air Restrictors – Air restrictors are installed by Hasbro to prevent the gun from being too powerful. Basically, it allows half the air generated in the pump-fired guns to escape. Removing the air restrictor is a somewhat complex process—see the instructional steps here—but it can be done for just about every Nerf model. Once it’s removed, the blaster will be able to fire at full air power, meaning more powerful and farther-flying shots.
Homemade Darts – Homemade darts are known as “Stefans” and can be made out of a ½” foam backer rod (used for electrical wires). These rods tend to come in lengths of 20 feet, which can be turned into about 75 individual darts. Use the tip of a hot glue gun to poke holes into the ends, add a BB into one side, and glue it up (with a foam tip) to finish off the dart.
Improved Seal – All Nerf guns use a rubber O-ring to create a seal against the tube that holds the plunger. Unfortunately, the cheap O-ring isn’t totally airtight, so it allows air to escape. All you have to do is buy a new O-ring of the right size and install it yourself. Use a second O-ring on the plunger head to guarantee an airtight seal. With the air sealed into the tube, you’ll get a lot more bang every time you pull that trigger!
Lengthened Ammo Feeder Belt – Most of the Nerf ammo feeder belts are sized to fit 25 darts, which limits the amount of ammunition you’ll get for your gun. However, you can actually build your own ammo feeder by connecting two or more feeder belts together. Simply remove the blank holders at the end of each belt, slice the nylon on each end to ¼”, then stitch the nylon belts together using sturdy thread. As long as the blank holders are exactly half an inch apart, you’ll get a belt that feeds through your Nerf machine gun smoothly and easily. You can stich belts together to make the feeder belt as long as you want—upwards of 100 darts in one go!